De Lima: Releasing “truly reformed” convicts of heinous crimes should not be considered injustice to victims

(Eagle News)–Releasing  “truly reformed” convicts of heinous crimes should not be considered an injustice against their victims.

Senator Leila de Lima had this to say on Sunday, Sept. 22, as she expressed hope the new implementing rules and regulations of the Good Conduct Time Allowance law were merely  “meant to be a temporary solution to prevent irreversible damage caused by the ‘GCTA-for-sale’ fiasco that hounded this administration.”

She said the GCTA law, which reduces the sentence of inmates based on good conduct, after all, was meant to  help deserving convicts to start anew and reintegrate back to the community.

She said the “real injustice is the undue and improper grant of time allowance to those who do not deserve them and the failure of our system to hold the corrupt officials involved responsible.”

“It is very unfortunate that corruption and abuse of the law has deprived truly reformed PDLs [Persons Deprived of Liberty] of the opportunity to earn time allowances based on good conduct. Yet again, corrupt officials have prejudiced the rights of the powerless,” she said.

The revised IRR were signed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año last week.

The original IRR, which were crafted during the time of De Lima as justice secretary and of Mar Roxas as interior secretary, were revised by a joint Department of Justice and Department of the Interior and Local Government panel following the release of convicts of heinous crimes under the law.

The Ombudsman, which is conducting a probe into the GCTA mess, had noted the original IRR did not explicitly ban convicts of heinous crimes from availing of the benefits of the law, unlike the law itself.

The revised IRR now explicitly state the ban.